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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Hatton adulation riles Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe says he is a better world champion than Ricky Hatton
Joe Calzaghe has upped the bragging stakes ahead of the 17th defence of his WBO super middleweight title by saying he is better than Ricky Hatton.

Hatton got huge praise for his win over light welterweight king Kostya Tszyu.

But Calzaghe hopes to get the credit he deserves by beating Evans Ashira in Cardiff on Saturday and then downing IBF champion Jeff Lacy in November.

"I've defended my title for eight years, let's see if Ricky is still champion in four years," Calzaghe said.

"Let's not go over the top - Ricky had a good win over Kostya Tszyu, but he fought a guy who was at the tail-end of his career who had fought once in three years.

"As far as I am concerned I am a far better fighter than Ricky Hatton."

Calzaghe has grown increasingly frustrated with the level of publicity he has been afforded during his eight years as champion, in contrast with some of his British boxing contemporaries.

The adulation of Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan, who fights a four-rounder on Calzaghe's undercard on Saturday against Baz Carey, is one case in point.

I have got a lot to live up to and I want to put up a positive performance
Joe Calzaghe

Calzaghe's career has been shown almost exclusively on satellite television.

But the 33-year-old from Newbridge is relishing showing his skills to a new terrestrial television audience.

His fight will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales MW and Radio Cymru, with the audio also streamed live on the internet by BBC Sport Interactive.

Calzaghe added: "Fighting in front of millions instead of hundreds of thousands will make a difference and it will be great to showcase my skills in front of a wider audience.

"I am going to be performing in front of people who have never watched me box before - I have got a lot to live up to and I want to put up a positive performance."

Hatton is about to become embroiled in a legal battle with promoter Frank Warren over who holds the options to his future fights.

Calzaghe, who has been with Warren since 1997, expressed surprise at Hatton's decision to go it alone, insisting the promoter represents the best option for his world title future.

Calzaghe said: "Look at what Frank has done for the careers of Ricky and Naseem Hamed - you need a good promoter behind you like Frank and you can't do everything on your own.

"I can't comment on Ricky's situation, but with regards to my own situation Frank is the best promoter in the world."




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